No.303 Squadron

None authorised
Badge
None authorised
Motto
None authorised
Formed
02 August 1940
Disbanded
11 December 1946

Formed at RAF Northolt on 2 August 1940, No 303 Squadron was equipped with Hurricanes flown by Polish pilots evacuated from France. The squadron became operational on
24 August and was subsequently heavily involved in the Battle of Britain, being the top scoring No 11 Group squadron in September.

In early October No 303 Squadron was relocated to RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire, for a period of less intensive patrolling. In January 1941 the unit returned to RAF Northolt to exchange its Hurricanes for Spitfires and embark on attacks over northern France.

In July 1941 No 303 Squadron moved to Speke for the defence of Liverpool until October when it resumed its offensive operations. The squadron relocated to Lincolnshire in June 1942 for coastal patrols, again returning south for offensive operations over France in February 1943.

November 1943 saw the unit move to Northern Ireland for convoy protection flights, and in April 1944 the squadron joined the Second Tactical Air Force to prepare the way for the invasion of Europe. Remaining in England after the invasion, No 303 Squadron moved to East Anglia for bomber escort duties and reconnaissance over Holland.

The squadron converted to Mustangs in April 1945 but only two operations were flown before the end of hostilities. No 303 Squadron disbanded on 11 December 1946.


AIRCRAFT

Hurricane I/II 1940 - 1941
Spitfire I/II/V/IX/XVI 1941 - 1945
Mustang IV 1945 - 1946


Reference Sources

The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force
James J Halley Air Britain (Historians) Ltd 1988

RAF Squadrons
Wg Cdr C G Jefford Airlife 2001

Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft
John D R Rawlings Crecy Books 1993

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